Samuel E. Wright, the man who voiced Sebastian, the crab, in Disney’s “Little Mermaid”, died Monday at the age of 74. After battling prostate cancer for three years, Wright passed away peacefully in his sleep, reported BuzzFeed News.
- “Sam was an inspiration to us all,” the city posted, according to BuzzFeed News.
The beloved entertainer leaves behind his daughter and his legacy from the stage to the screen to the local community.
Forever the voice of Sebastian
- Both songs were nominated for Oscars with “Under the Sea” winning the award for Best Original Song, according to BuzzFeed News and CNN.
In the role of Sebastian, Wright went on to act in a TV series adaptation of the “Little Mermaid” and “The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea,” reported CNN and NBC News. The role marked the high point of Wright’s Hollywood career.
- According to Wright per HuffPost, Sebastian’s accent was not Jamaican but Trinidadian.
A long career on Broadway and in Hollywood
The entertainer first made his debut on Broadway in 1971 in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” said BuzzFeed News. Wright continued acting on Broadway, being nominated for a Tony in 1984 following his performance in “The Tap Dance Kid.”
- Beginning in 1997, Wright played Mufasa in “The Lion King” on Broadway, earning a Tony nomination in 1998, reported BuzzFeed News.
Local impact in Montgomery
Beyond his entertainment career, Wright left an impact in his hometown of Montgomery, New York. He founded a cultural center there with his family and set up the region’s first performing arts school, the Hudson Valley Conservatory, reported CNN.
In a Facebook post per BuzzFeed News, the city spoke of Wright, saying, “on top of his passion for the arts and his love for his family, Sam was most known for walking into a room and simply providing PURE JOY to those he interacted with. He loved to entertain, he loved to make people smile and laugh and he loved to love.”